I had some thoughts related to this article that appeared on Gamespot recently.
It takes 20 years from the time it's invented for a technology to become ubiquitous. It worked that way with radio, television, personal computers, the Internet, cell phones and many other items. Once a technology ubiquitous regular people start using it and if it's an entertainment or informational media, the general level of the content moves toward the lowest common denominator to appeal to a wide audience. As this occurs in the world of gaming we see the old timers and dedicated hobbyists complaining that "the casuals" (i.e. everyone else) are ruining gaming with simple fare like Angry Birds and dumbed down sequels.
In reality there is no loss of quality in content for the people who want to dig deeper. With gaming, as with all the other entertainment vehicles you still have content created for the more discerning audience along with a great deal of content aiming for what plays in Peoria. Some people fear that developers are being lured into creating "casual" games because that's where the money is and neglect the deeper games aimed at the hobbyist. When things are in a state of flux this can even be true at times. But the good news is there isn't a fixed pool of developers. It's a simple function of supply and demand: as the audience grows the number of content creators grows, and in the end everyone gets to see a wider variety of content aimed at a wider variety of gamers.
To use television as a comparison, while you absolutely see lowbrow yet popular content like American Idol, Survivor and Two and a Half Men taking center stage, you can also find intellectually challenging and stimulating fare. All you need to do is look a bit. There is also a great deal of variety. You can also find hundreds of channels of programming that cover just about every interest under the sun. I'm sure gaming will follow the same pattern.
We'll also see gaming grow beyond the adolescent male focused themes and design choices we see so much of now. Those games are always going to be around because there will always be a large audience for them, but those gamers aren't the only people on the demand side of the equation any more. No one wants to be laughed at and called childish for being a gamer, and that perception is finally changing for the better. But part and parcel with that change in attitude is an influx of new outlooks and experiences from women, older adults and people of all walks of life who want their views, values and experiences reflected in their entertainment. This is another source of change anxiety for some of the veterans. As the industry is under assault for it's male focus that at times leads to overt sexism it might seem that outside forces are trying to get rid of the kind of games that appeal to them, or turn them into something less appealing. The only thing that will happen in the end is there will be more choices and variety of viewpoints and themes and less outright misogyny, which is best for all involved.
So yes, gaming is changing, and it seems like it's changing for the worse at times, but based on history I have faith that in the end gaming will grow and change for the better.